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Dramas, Special Features, Original Features

[Drama Review] 'Hwarang' - Episode 3

By eric_r_wirsing   Tuesday, December 27, 2016   17,769   4,913   3



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Re-living his childhood, Hwa Gong sits astride the statue of the horse.

Moo Myung fights King Jinheung in the abandoned building as Ah Ro shrieks in fear. But Jinheung escapes. Ah Ro, once she's recovered her wits, reports in to her bosses, Hwa Gong (the prisoner, released to form the Hwarang) and the merchant Joo Ki (helping Hwa Gong to find suitable candidates). She outlines the candidates she's observed so far and who they are.

Coming home, Ah Ro asks her father, the healer Ahn Ji, about Moo Myung. The young man is staying there to heal not only from his attempted execution but also his fainting spells. Her father tells her he is Sun Woo (aka Mak Moon), her long-lost brother, but she doesn't believe him.

"I can't believe you told that joke!"

The next day, Queen Ji So holds a parade. Most officials don't show, to protest the forming of the Hwarang. But Moo Myung sees Hyun Chu, his would-be murderer there, and makes a beeline for him. He's held back by numerous guards, and the healer shows up to claim him as his son. Ji So clearly has some sort of history with Ahn Ji. Moo Myung is imprisoned. Ji So threatens his family, then lets him loose to "wait" for what's to come. He exits the palace and collapses into a frightened Ah Ro's arms...

I like the fighting scenes in here. Continuing what the first week started, this episode seems to turn things up to 11. The fight scenes are exceedingly dramatic, with Moo Myung seemingly sailing through the air to cross swords with his foes, kicks sending people flying 20 feet back, and so forth. The sequences owe a lot to the fighting techniques of wuxia heroes, who attain practically superhuman powers in cinema. It's always a pleasure to see this kind of thing in action.

While being shaven by his barber, Ahn Ji suddenly realizes the benefits of a smaller blade.
The more I see her, the more I'm annoyed by Ah Ro. I think it may be that they can't quite figure out what to do with her. At some points, she's in tears over something or another, at other points she's utter comic relief. I'm not against a character having some depth, it's just a little hard to get the feels for a character you were laughing at a few moments before. It almost cheapens the scenes that you were supposed to tear up at. 

I was a little put off by the Queen's jewelry. When I watch a saeguk, I'm constantly blown away by the opulence. I love the archaic jewelry, the sets, and in general just how different things are from today. Every time they show the Queen this episode, she looks like she's wearing plastic rather than gold. I ordinarily don't notice things like that, but it stuck out like a sore thumb. There are cosplayers that are more convincing.

Moo Myung finally found out why the hotel was so cheap...

It's a bit uneven, I'll admit, and some of the scenes are a little flat or awkward. But I don't know how much of that is the writing or the acting. I can wait and see. It's not the worst thing I've seen, but it's certainly not the best right now. But it's still getting off the ground. I like the chemistry among the characters and the rivalry. That's going to present some interesting challenges if they're supposed to be honed into an elite team.

But I can't complain too much. I got some action, which is some of what I was looking for. I had a few laughs along the way, which was also nice. It also doesn't lag -- there's very little waste here. Even scenes that don't seem to have much relevance (like the "soccer" game) just add to the bigger picture. And it's still a lot of fun. Frankly, I'm in it for the long haul.

So what about you guys? What do you think?


  1. Minho
  2. Hyungsik
  3. Lee Kwang Soo
  4. V
  5. Go Ara
  6. V
  7. Park Seo Joon
  8. hwarang

rufio2201 Tuesday, December 27, 2016

it's sageuk, not "saeguk."

EllegantBizarre Tuesday, December 27, 2016

As long as I get to stare at Hyungshik, I'm happy.

zozo5a2 Tuesday, December 27, 2016

I love the drama but we can do without the romance. I wish romantic scenes just turn into comedy ones because this drama makes me laugh quite a lot

The End



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